The leader of a terrorist cell plotted to kidnap a British Muslim soldier using cocaine as a lure before beheading him "like a pig", a jury heard yesterday.

Parviz Khan wanted to send footage of the atrocity to a television station to instil "fear and panic" into Britain's Armed Forces, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Khan, a father-of-three from Alum Rock, Birmingham, pleaded guilty on January 17 to engaging in conduct with the intention to kidnap and kill the soldier.

His plea was revealed yesterday to a jury trying two other men on charges under the Terrorism Act.

Nigel Rumfitt QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Khan hoped to kidnap a British Muslim soldier in Birmingham's Broad Street entertainment quarter with the help of drug dealers.

Mr Rumfitt told the court: "He would be taken to a lock-up garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut off like a pig.

"This atrocity would be filmed... and the film released to cause panic and fear within the British Armed Forces and the wider public."

Mr Rumfitt also told the jury that Khan, of Foxton Road, Alum Rock, was at the centre of a terrorist cell based in the Birmingham area.

Khan was active in gathering items, Mr Rumfitt said, including computer hard drives, range-finders and night vision equipment to be sent out to Pakistan for use by terrorists operating near the Afghan border Mr Rumfitt added: "The prosecution say that Parviz Khan is a fanatic.

"He was enraged by the idea that there were Muslim soldiers in the British Army, some of them Muslims from The Gambia in West Africa."

The jury also heard Khan wanted another man, Gambian national Basiru Gassama, to help identify the victim of the soldier plot.

Gassama, a 30-year-old of Radstock Avenue, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, has pleaded guilty to failing to inform the authorities of the plan to kill a soldier. In fact, the court heard, Gassama never came up with the details of an individual target for Khan, and the plan "lay dormant" from July to November 2006.

Mr Rumfitt said a bug placed in Khan's home by the security services recorded "highly incriminating and damaging comments" made during conversations inside the property.

On November 6, Mr Rumfitt alleged, Gassama visited Khan and was shown videos of beheadings in an attempt to persuade him to help the cell.

"To his credit, there is no evidence that Gassama ever did help. On the other hand, he failed to report Khan to the authorities," counsel for the Crown continued.

The jury was told that two other men from Birmingham, Mohammed Irfan, 31, and Hamid Elasmar, 44, have also pleaded guilty to charges related to the cell's activities, but two other defendants are standing trial.

The court also heard that Khan talked about "lads" armed with blades while discussing the plot to snatch a soldier from the streets.

A transcript was read to the jury of comments made by Khan on December 29 2006, allegedly to Mahmood.

The jury was told that Khan asked Mahmood: "Could you get that other job done?" He then told him: "You know what, I have found the people who have said OK.

"If we can do it via the other person's lad, by having a chit chat with him and also by winning his interest by the white stuff, then afterwards we can ambush him or whatever."

After quoting the transcript, Mr Rumfitt told the jury: "It's apparent that Mahmood knows what he (Khan) is talking about. It's that information which Mahmood should have taken straight to the authorities and didn't."

In police interviews after his arrest, Mahmood exercised his right not to answer questions but issued a statement in which he said he did not support or agree with terrorist activity.

Iqbal told police that Khan said the black bags at his home were to be shipped out to Pakistan for charity. The trial continues.